Monday, March 30, 2009

Flower Essences for Rocky and Uncertain Times


Flower Essences for Rocky and Uncertain Times

We have been inundated with requests for help from people who are afraid and overwhelmed in these uncertain times. It can be very difficult to separate yourself from the stream of negative energy in which so many people are currently participating, but you can take steps to create a sense of sacred space in your life.

Creating your own flower essence combinations and taking them regularly is a great way to start creating sacred space. Bach flower essences offer a great selection of core essences, and are easy to find in most health food stores. They can also be easily obtained online.

Great Flower Essences for Not-So-Great Times
Here are a list of the core Bach essences that apply to our current times. Scan through the list and see if any of the remedies "pop" for you, and seem appropriate for your current situation. Although some purists don't mix essences, I have found that often a combination of 3-5 flower essences can be more powerful than a single essence. Rescue Remedy, which is available pre-mixed, is a great example of such a combination. If you don't feel that you can mix your own essences, taking Rescue Remedy is a great fallback plan.

Rock Rose
For those feeling so much fear and terror that they are paralyzed. This essence is particularly useful at this time. Rock Rose offers the gift of dauntless courage.

Aspen
For vague worries with no specific cause. In these times, it's quite possible that many people are tapping into the general tone of fear and uncertainty. If you feel a sense of impending doom, Aspen offers the gifts of connectedness and fearlessness.

Mimulus
For known and named fears. If you know what you are afraid of (such as dogs, spiders, public speaking, etc.) this remedy works well. Mimuls offers the gifts of fearlessness and confidence.

Cerato
For those who don't feel they can trust their own judgment or decision-making ability. If you need to make some hard decisions in your life but you don't trust yourself, Cerato (like the word "certain") can assist you. Cerato offers the gifts of certainty and strength.

Wild Oat
For those standing at a crossroad, unable to make a decision as to which way to go. This essence helps you locate and get in touch with your inner gifts and talents. Wild Oat offers the gifts of feeling your own character and bringing out your innate talents.

Hornbeam
For those suffering from the "Monday morning blues," regardless of the day of the week. If you feel a general sense of malaise and insufficient mental/physical strength to deal with life, this essence can offer support. Hornbeam offer the gifts of certainty and an abundance of energy.

Walnut

For those going through difficult life transitions or those feeling bound by old life conditions. If you need to break free and step onto a new life path, Walnut will help you ease the transition and protect you while you make your move. Walnut offers the gifts of stabilization, strong boundaries, and protection from outside influences during transition.

Mix Your Own Essences

You can easily mix your own essences to take on a daily basis. To do so, you will need to have the flower essences you want to use, a sterile 1 or 2 ounce dropper bottle, some spring water, and some alcohol (I like to use flavored brandies). Once you have these materials:

1. Put a small amount of alcohol at the bottom of the bottle
2. Add 4 drops of each flower essence you want to use to the bottle
3. Add more alcohol to the dropper bottle, until the bottle is 1/4 to 1/3 full
4. Top up the mix with spring water
5. Close the dropper bottle and pound the bottom of the bottle on your palm 50 times.

Now you are ready to use your flower essence. You can carry the bottle with you, and take 4 drops during the day (3-4 times per day or as needed). Another method is to add 4 drops to a bottle of spring water, shake, and sip the water all day. This method also works well with Rescue Remedy.

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Photo credit: Rosa de agua

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Five Simple and Cheap Ways to Recover from Stress

Five Simple and Cheap Ways to Recover from Stress

We live in a stressed out society. According to an annual "Attitudes In The American Workplace VI" Gallup Poll, 80% of workers feel stress on the job, nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress. Stress has become one the largest problems in our society, and regularly costs US industries more than $300 billion per year.

With today's uncertain economy, more and more people are feeling stress, even if they don't acknowledge it. The good news is that you don't have to be stressed out, even if everyone else is. Here are five simple and cheap ways to recover from stress:

Move Your Body
Taking a brisk 5 minute walk outside can release endorphins (those make you feel happy), increase circulation to the brain so you can think more clearly, and reduce the adrenalin and cortisol produced by stress (adrenalin and cortisol cause your body to store lots of fat). Moving your body also tends to move your mind, according to the spiritual principle of "as above, so below," so you tend to feel more relaxed and creative afterward. Taking a quick walk could result in some unexpected inspiration!

Vent for Five Minutes
If you're really stressed and you need to vent your frustration or anger, set aside five minutes and write everything down. Set a timer for five minutes and go. Write down everything you're angry, sad, frustrated, grieving, or generally stressed about. This is your five minutes to cut loose. When the timer goes off, you'll feel better and be able to think more clearly. The key to making this technique work is to stay disciplined. Don't allow yourself to get frustrated outside of those 5 minutes, and don't let yourself vent for more than 5 minutes.

Feed Your Brain and Body
When you're under stress, your brain and body need more nutrients to function. Taking in whole food nutrients can actually get rid of stress. Try blue-green algae, chlorella, or another chlorophyll-rich source. Fruits and vegetables, especially if freshly-juiced, also make a great source of nutrient-dense food that your body can use without a lot of digestive effort.

Breathe
When you're under stress, you stop breathing deeply and regularly. Studies show that when you take conscious control of your breathing, your level of stress decreases. If you're breathing consciously, you won't be stressed. Take three minutes and just breathe. You'll be glad you did!

Take Action
If you're stressed because you've been procrastinating about something, get moving and take some action. Procrastination is one of the biggest sources of stress--and it's also one of the easiest to take care of. Taking action and completing tasks can radically reduce stress!

The last thing you need to do when you're stressed is add more items to your to-do list. Instead, make stress relief simple. Take 5 minutes out of your day, here and there, to de-stress your life. You don't need to pay for an expensive gym membership or visit a shrink. Just take a little time to decompress and you'll be surprised at the positive results.

Photo credit: Paula writes the diary

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

Need Sleep?

Most of us are so driven by the clock that we pay more attention to it than we do to our own bodies. Did you know that your body constantly working to stay in balance, and that it can and will balance itself if you let it.

There's a lot of debate out there about how much sleep a person really needs. The problem with any sort of generalized guidelines is that every person needs a different amount of sleep. In fact, you might need different amounts of sleep on different nights - depending on what's going on in your life.

The best way to determine how much sleep you need is to listen to you body. On the weekends, when you don't have to salute the alarm clock, experiment with waking up naturally. See what time you wake up and how many hours you slept. Check in with how you feel with that amount of sleep, then adjust accordingly.

Your body's internal wisdom is always right on the money. Trust it - it knows you better than anyone else!

Photo credit: need some sleep

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Simple Ways to Reverse Aging

Got Wrinkles? Aging?

Aging seems happens to all of us, but it doesn't have to. What are the top 3 causes of aging?

- Cell and tissue damage from free radicals because the body lacks anti-oxidants
- Reduced immune response
- Enzyme depletion

Did you know that you can reverse the effects of aging with very simple nutritional and lifestyle changes? Here are some ways to get started:
  • Regular exercise for circulation, strength and flexibility
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Drink plenty of pure water every day
  • Add blue-green algae to your diet
  • Limit the amount of meat, butter, eggs and dairy you eat
  • Eat whole, organic foods whenever possible
  • Laugh and be happy (stress causes aging)
  • Take the probiotics acidophilis and bifidus to improve immune response
  • Use enzyme therapy to clean up waste in the body and cells
Remember that our cells don't really age - they are constantly being replaced by new cells. If you simply support your body's natural processes by using the guidelines above, staying youthful is easy!

Photo credit: Masarwa Man

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pet Food Nutrition: Dos and Don’ts

Have you ever tried reading the ingredient label on a bag of dog or cat food? I have and I can tell you that you pretty much have to be a scientist to understand what it means. Most labels will tell you the amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, and other nutrients in the bag of food, but does it really tell you anything about pet food nutrition? Not really. Did you know that a 40 pound bag of dog food can contain less nutrition than a 5 pound bag of dog food? When it comes to pet food nutrition, it is the quality of the food that counts, not the quantity. Unfortunately, most of the time the 40 pound bag of food costs much less per pound than the 5 pound bag of food so we buy the cheap stuff.

So how can you know that your dog or cat is getting the all the nutrition it needs to stay healthy and happy? It's pretty hard to tell by reading the ingredients labels, but here's a quick guide that might help you translate the stuff on the label to find out just what kind of pet food nutrition is being offered. Basically, you want to avoid as many of the following as possible:

* BHA, Ethoxyquin, BHT: these are chemical preservatives
* Low quality protein: corn, wheat, and soy are examples
* Fats: most fats added to pet food are indigestible
* Artificial flavors or colors
* Corn syrup or sugar: just as bad for your pet as for you
* Byproducts: these include animal beaks, hooves, and guts

If you were to go to the grocery store and pick out fresh food for your pet, you wouldn't really include any of these items so try not to buy foods for your dog or cat that have these ingredients. There are commercially available dog and cat foods that do not have these ingredients and are not much more expensive than the cheaper brands. Check the internet or with your veterinarian for these brands that offer the right kind of pet food nutrition.

Another way to consider pet food nutrition is to look at basic biological requirements for cats and dogs. They are actually the same as for humans. Cats, dogs, and humans all need three basics to be healthy: probiotics, food enzymes, and minerals and trace minerals. No matter what brand of food you feed your pet, you can ensure that your cat or dog thrives by supplementing the feed with these ingredients. Here's what each one does:

* Probiotics: support the balance of natural 'friendly' bacteria present in the body of all organisms (an example is Lactobacillus acidophilus)

* Food Enzymes: aid in breaking down food into forms your dog or cat can use (examples include protease, amylase, and lipase)

* Minerals and Trace Minerals: used in almost every function of the body and are more easily assimilated than synthetic minerals

By adding small amounts of these natural ingredients to your pet's food (and you will be surprised at how little your pet needs on a daily basis) you can boost the nutrition in your pet's food no matter what brand of food you feed. Pet food nutrition doesn't have to be complicated. Just learn to read the labels, avoid foods with a lot of harmful or artificial ingredients, and supplement with probiotics, enzymes, minerals, and trace minerals as needed.